Chicago Tribune puts spotlight on liquor store that got taxpayer funds

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This is how the Chicago Tribune story in today’s editions starts:

Fed up with package liquor stores marked by street fights and curbside drug dealing, West Side residents more than a decade ago won a moratorium banning new liquor licenses on a bleak stretch of West Madison Street.

But in April, a new neon sign for Miller beer blinked in the storefront at 5337 W. Madison St., a block away on either side from two other package liquor outlets, writes Tribune reporters David Jackson and Gary Marx.

Authorities knew the Convenience For You store was coming — in fact, city officials gave it $105,000 in tax increment financing grants, the Tribune reports.

Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) then pushed through a special ordinance lifting the moratorium, saying she wanted to help an African-American businesswoman with stellar credentials.

Actually, the new liquor store was bankrolled and launched by convicted drug dealer Frederick “Juicy” Sims, who has been tied to the Vice Lords street gang, a Tribune investigation found.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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